Judge Denies Motion to Place Defendant Within 15 Miles of DC

After the District of Columbia Court of Appeals decided to reverse a defendant’s second-degree murder conviction, he is scheduled to be retried for a fourth time for his alleged involvement in the murder of 16-year-old Malek Mercer

Derryck Decuir’s second-degree murder while armed against a minor and unlawful possession of a firearm with a prior conviction charges were reversed in November of 2022. The charges for were reversed due to erroneous admission of witness testimony in an early trial, according to the decision.

Decuir, 30, is currently being held by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, which is at least 2 hours away from D.C. He was convicted and sentenced in 2019 for shooting Malek Mercer on the 2800 block of 28th Street, SE in 2015. 

Decuir’s defense counsel filed a motion to have him moved within 15 miles of DC to have more accessibility to him. His defense attorney, Lee Goebes, said it is basically impossible for the defense team to meet with the defendant. Goebes said a meeting would take a full day away from their offices and other cases. 

DC Superior Court Judge Maribeth Raffinan denied the motion, stating that she does not have any authority to decide where the BOP places defendants. 

However, she did state that she flagged the case to the US Marshals and they were working to figure out a placement that would be more suitable for the defendant as they go into disposition and trial. 

The defense and prosecution requested a continuance to this hearing to figure out what to do next. 

Parties are expected to return to court on April 27. 

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